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The Death of Heroscape?

Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:27 PM by truth
Updated November 3rd, 2010 at 04:45 PM by truth
Wizards of the Coast announced today that it will be discontinuing the Heroscape line.

They've sited a desire to focus on their core brands as the reason. I know, shocking right? Wizards doesn't want to branch out from Magic and D&D?! Since when? For those of you who aren't well-versed in the history of Wizards of the Coast and hobby game publishing, that was sarcasm. Wizards has had a notoriously difficult time branching out from their core brands of D&D and Magic the Gathering. Nowhere is that more evident than their handling of the Heroscape brand. Rather than allow Heroscape to grow based on the brand it had established for itself, they chose to re-brand the product line to fit into D&D. Many rock-solid, even fanatical, Heroscape fans saw that as a jumping off point. Is that why the brand didn't work at Wizards? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't change anything for me to get overly speculative on the matter, but there it is. I've pointed out the Elephant in the room. But having done that, here is another real fact: Wizards would have killed the Hersocape brand 3 waves and a Master set ago had someone over there not had the highly-controversial idea to reuse D&D minis to lower the cost threshold of publishing new Heroscape products. They just couldn't seem to make the pricing structure of Heroscape work for them and seemed unwilling or unable to raise the retail price to match closer with the price of similar hobby game products. I suspect that this had something to do with the game's mass market roots. I don't think Walmart and others would have been too keen on the idea of a price hike. On top of all of that, in the realm of ongoing collectible lines, there is always a struggle against the law of diminishing returns. The fact is that people burn out on their hobbies and if you can't replace them fast enough with new players your product is in a death spiral. We can't point to many examples of Wizards out there fighting to get new Heroscape players on board, but doing so requires an advertising budget and it seems that it was already difficult to put the game in the black. If I had to guess I would say that the strategy over at Wizards was likely to find a way to continue producing Heroscape at a profit for as long as was still viable. I think we've reached that point.

Can we point the finger at a number of people, or entities, and proclaim in hindsight how they might have better handled our favorite game? Yes. Does it change anything? No. And you know what? Rather than point my finger at all the perceived mismanagement throughout the entire life of the brand and cry my self-entitled eyes out, I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing people who brought us many a fun game night over the last 6 years.

Craig Van Ness - Ultimately Heroscape was Craig's baby. Not only are many of the core ideas of the brand his, but he managed the game throughout its golden years. He's more than a great game designer, he is a man of true character. It was evident in the way he treated the fans of his game. Those who have made the annual trip out to GenCon found out how approachable he is. Many of us share fond memories of Craig, and a gang of Hasbro employees, showing up to parties hosted by heroscapers and playing Heroscape with everyone until 3 AM.

On a personal note, Heroscape was the game that made me fall in love with gaming and game designing, and it was Craig who not only gave me a shot at designing for Heroscape, he also took me under his wing and mentored me, became a friend to me, cheered me on when I started Plaid Hat Games. I simply can't shower enough praise and gratitude upon him.

Rob Daviau - Rob is a genius. I'm not just saying that, it's true. It was both he and Craig that spent the long hours crafting this game together. And these two guys didn't just do Heroscape, they've been real difference makers over at Hasbro for years. Check out this geeklist on Board Game Geek for details on a number of great games that these guys have worked on for Hasbro: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklis...ed-garbage-the

Stephen Baker - This is the most elusive of the original tri-fecta credited with designing Heroscape, but it was he who thought up one of Hersocape's most defining features - the 3-D modular terrain.

Hero - Hero was a mysterious figure that only some of you are going to remember. He established a website at heroscape.net that became a home for the first Heroscape adopters. I don't think anyone will deny the impact that the Heroscape community has had on the game, and it was Hero who first brought that community together.

Jerry Hawthorne (aka grungebob) - The man, the myth, the legend. He was the first fan to ever have a Heroscape figure named after him. He has been a PILLAR of the heroscape community from day friggin' ONE. He later became a designer for Heroscape and it has been my absolute HONOR to work with him. And this guy isn't done just because Heroscape is. Look for more game designs from him in the near future. This man is one of my truest friends in the world. And not just in a 'we visit the same internet websites' kinda way, but a true genuine friendship that I value dearly.

Chris Dupuis (aka theguru) - And a guru he really is. This guy started out as a Hasbro customer service representative. When Heroscape came down the pipes at Hasbro he made it his personal duty to help untangle all of the rules intricacies that come along with this kind of game. He too became a designer on the Heroscape line working next to Jerry and myself, and toward the end it was really him taking the lead to the point of doing Wizard's job for them in many respects and seeing to it that this last year or so worth of products made it through all of the phases involved with as much quality as we could directly control or impress upon Wizards to do it with.

The Heroscapers - Is it possible that there has ever been a group of fans so creative, so enthusiastic, so friendly as this one? I really don't think so. We've accomplished a lot as a group and via individual efforts. With examples like the C3G's custom super hero units project, Dave Richards (aka hextr1p) gifting his valuable time doing graphic design to make the website better, Xotli staying up all night making the switch from the old software to the new website software, Aldin being a spokesman and a friendly greeting for the website, Mr. Bistro making us laugh, the Books of Heroscape project, Zzzzz's Virtualscape, The HS Codex, the hundreds of fan created battlefields, scenarios, units, tournaments, software, in-depth articles, and the list really goes on and on and on, too much to possibly name. It has, and continues to be, and absolute honor to be among your ranks.

What does all of this means for Heroscapers.com? Well just because Wizards is no longer putting out new product doesn't mean we have to burn the piles of Heroscape stuff we already own and enjoy. We are going to keep on playing. We are going to keep on organizing tournaments and National Heroscape days. I encourage the fans to keep putting stuff out for the game. There has never been any shortage of that, but my thoughts are cast back to the days when Heroscape was new, our appetite for new Heroscape stuff was ravenous and the amount of Heroscape product out there was minimal. That was a time when custom unit creation was at its highest to my mind. And that is probably in ratio to the number of fans on board at the time, but the fact is that we didn't just wait for Hasbro to feed us. We've always been motivated to go and to do. And that spirit lives on here.

So is Heroscape dead? No. Heroscape and Heroscapers lives on for as long as you the fan are here keeping it alive.

Heroscape and Heroscapers have shaped the path of my life forever. Those aren't just fluffy words, that is a fact. So my sincerest thank you to Craig and Rob, to Grungebob, to Bistro, to Guru, Aldin, Infinity Max, Hero, Hextr1p, Hex_Enduction_Hour, Skyknight, Tom Vasel, Bunjee, LordRaidor, Malechi, Oogie_Da_Bruce, Garylasq, Netherspirit, IAMBatman, Ninthdoc, R˙chean, Doc Savage, The Reverend David Dyer, Funrun, Rym, Cavalier, Elstree, JustJohn, Zzzzz, LilNewbie, Darkspade, Annerios, Atmospro, UPC, markwars, the Wisingers, Bad_Calvin, Count Blah, Turtleboy, lonewolf, spider_posion, Jexik, Jim, Fezzikthedoor, CornPuff, Hahn, Hendal, Cbs42, Jormi_Boced, Onacara, Allskulls, Bloody Baroness, NwoJedi, even Reapersarus... and for each of these many I've named there are at least 10 more I'm foolishly leaving out. To all of you, who have come and gone through the years, THANK YOU!!

Onward and upward. Peace, love, and Heroscape.

Spread word of this post to anyone you know who has ever been part of the community and no longer visits. Even if it has been awhile since you've posted around here, make your voice heard in the comments.

-Colby 'Truth' Dauch

Oh yeah... seems kind of anti-climatic, but Wizards sent us this Q and A that may answer a couple of remaining questions you might have:

Q: Why are you canceling the Heroscape line?
A: We have chosen to focus our business efforts on our core brands.
Q: How long will Heroscape products remain available in stores?
A: There is no specific limitation on this. They will remain available as long as supplies last.
Q: Will Wizards be releasing any more Heroscape products before the line is canceled?
A: Yes! The final expansion set, named Moltenclaw’s Invasion, will be released on November 16, 2010.
Q: Will you continue to support product replacement for damaged or defective Heroscape game pieces?
A: Yes, we will continue to do so as per our normal product replacement schedule.

Q: I have other questions, not answered by this FAQ. Where can I go to ask those?
A: Feel free to email in any additional questions to customer service.
Posted in Heroscape News
Comments 417
Total Comments 417

Comments

Old
theGuru's Avatar
I can't thank the Heroscape community enough. It's been a great ride, and I've been honored to work with those that Truth mentioned above. I'm looking forward to how the boards evolve in the future.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:29 PM by theGuru theGuru is offline
Old
lonewolf's Avatar
Sad Day indeed!

Thanks to all who have kept this line alive for so long. We are in debt to you.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:30 PM by lonewolf lonewolf is offline
Old
Mooseman's Avatar
F***
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:31 PM by Mooseman Mooseman is offline
Old
ABOMINATION's Avatar
Wow...I didn't think this would happen so soon. Good run, and I had fun playing it. Is there any chance that another gaming company will pick it up?
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:32 PM by ABOMINATION ABOMINATION is offline
Old
Damn.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:34 PM by AMIS AMIS is offline
Old
Killometer's Avatar
Worst. Announcement. Ever.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:35 PM by Killometer Killometer is offline
Old
Filthy the Clown's Avatar
Bah. The game will go on, as long as there are fans and places like eBay to acquire different stuff (one man's trash is another man's treasure). Plus, with the large amount of figures available (almost 5 years worth...wow), as well as the ability to create customs, Heroscape will continue to thrive.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:38 PM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
Old
ElvenEnvy's Avatar
Can they wait for a Wave 4 re-release? If I had Glads to go with my Blasts I would be at peace with missing all of the other things I don't have.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:38 PM by ElvenEnvy ElvenEnvy is offline
Old
Jeez, I was hoping this wouldn't happen pre-D4. I mean, I was hoping it wouldn't happen at all, but I thought we'd get at least 5 or 6 D&D waves before they got bored with it.
Was any D4 content finalized that can be unofficially released?
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:40 PM by Eyetooth Eyetooth is offline
Old
Toa Matoro's Avatar
First bionicle, now heroscape! NNNNOOOOOOOOO! well i guess this just means well have a bit more money to spend on older, harder to find peices, right?
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:41 PM by Toa Matoro Toa Matoro is offline
Old
Karat's Avatar
ahh... and i was just getting started to. Well at least i have C3G
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:43 PM by Karat Karat is offline
Old
jedilou's Avatar
R.I.P. Heroscape.

Thanks to the Design Team and all others who worked to start it and those who kept it going as long as they did. Your efforts are appreciated and will be appreciated for years to come as we enjoy the great game and expansions that we already have.

Long live Heroscape and Heroscapers!
- jedilou
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:46 PM by jedilou jedilou is offline
Old
Sad; truly sad.
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:47 PM by Tigerscaper Tigerscaper is offline
Old
Heroscape Elffy's Avatar
So it happened...
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:47 PM by Heroscape Elffy Heroscape Elffy is offline
Old
Frylock's Avatar
Poor Estivara...
Posted November 3rd, 2010 at 04:48 PM by Frylock Frylock is offline
 
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